Six Suggested Founding Fathers' Vision Documents for Pakistan... II
28 October, 2011
By Air Marshal (Retired) Masood Akhtar
Document 5: Quaid's Address on 11th August, 1947
Quaid-e-Azam addressed many a group during his struggle for Pakistan. While addressing foreigners he told them not to worry because Pakistan would not be a theocratic state. Likewise he declared the new state to be the laboratory for testing all Islamic concepts. Similarly he advised students about his famous "work, work and work" concept. But when he addressed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan he gave definite guidelines and cautioned about pitfalls that could harm Pakistan. This address therefore is considered to be his Magna Carta for Pakistan.
Have we lived up to his advice? Aren't their serious dichotomies between what he said and how our constitution has evolved? Or else is our constitution is a good document but our values beliefs and attitudes have prevented us from truly implementing it in its true spirit?
Sovereignty: Constituent Assembly
The Constituent Assembly has got two main functions to perform:
• The first is the very onerous and responsible task of framing our future Constitution of Pakistan and
• The second of functioning as a full and complete sovereign body as the Federal Legislature of Pakistan.
The first and the foremost thing that I would like to emphasise is this --- remember that you are now a Sovereign Legislative body and you have got all the powers. It, therefore, places on you the gravest responsibility as to how you should take your decisions.
This mighty sub-continent with all kinds of inhabitants has been brought under a plan which is titanic, unknown, unparalleled. And what is very important with regard to it is that we have achieved it peacefully and by means of an evolution of the greatest possible character
The first observation that I would like to make is this: You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a Government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State
Bribery, Corruption, Jobbery and Nepotism
Our condition is much worse is bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand and I hope that you will take adequate measures as soon as it is possible for this Assembly to do so.
Here again it is a legacy which has been passed on to us. Along with many other things, good and bad, has arrived this great evil -the evil of nepotism and jobbery. This evil must be crushed relentlessly. I want to make it quite clear that I shall never tolerate any kind of jobbery, nepotism or any influence directly or indirectly brought to bear upon me.
Equal Rights, Privileges and Obligations
Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor
• Fraternity If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet you are bound to succeed
• Equality & Fraternity If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make
Absolute Equality & Fraternity
We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community – because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalese, Madrasis, and so on – will vanish.
Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other.
Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.
Today, you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the nation.
Pluralism & Equality
Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.
Justice and Complete Impartiality
My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and co-operation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest Nations of the world.
Document 6: Objectives Resolution, March 7, 1949
This document was approved by the Constituent Assembly as the Preamble to the constitution of Pakistan. Like all other documents given in the FFV Debate, this too is a man made document. Along with all others, this too should be examined and compared critically. Does it ensure total human equality as per the Quran, the Last Sermon and Meesaq-e-Madinah? Does it conflict with the Vision given for Pakistan by the Quaid in his Presidential Address to The Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947? Does it differ in some ways with the Equality and Internationalism (and not Nationalism) as envisaged by Iqbal in his Allahabad Lecture? We must reconcile all these differences to secure Pakistan amongst the comity of nations in the tumultuous times.
When the resolution was made the substantive part of the constitution, the word "freely" was innocuously removed from Article 6, which has since, not been restored despite petitions in the superior courts. The constitution has the word "freely" mentioned in the preamble but the same is omitted in the Annex which is referred to by Article 2 a as the actual document.
"And on the top of this all, by this Resolution you condemn them to a perpetual state of inferiority. A thick curtain is drawn against all rays of hope, all prospects of an honourable life. After this what advice shall I tender? What heart can I have to persuade the people to maintain a stout heart?
But I feel it is useless bewailing before you, it is useless reasoning with you. You show yourselves incapable of humility that either victory or religion ought to generate. You then go your way, I have best wishes for you.
I am an old man not very far from my eternal rest. I am capable of forgetting all injuries. I bear you no ill will. I wish you saw reason. Even as it is, may no evil come your way. May you prosper, may the newly-born State of Pakistan be great and get its proper place in the comity of nations."
Article 1: Sovereignty
"WHEREAS sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone, and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust",
Questions: Who interprets it? Quaid declared the Constituent Assembly sovereign in his 11th August 1947 address? Do we have some physical sovereignty to evolve with a thinking mind and the power to rationalize?
Articles 2: Quaid's Declaration
"WHEREAS the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, declared that Pakistan would be a democratic State based on Islamic principles of social justice,"
Questions: We are still struggling for democracy?
Article 3: Resolve of the Assembly
"AND WHEREAS the Constituent Assembly, representing the people of Pakistan, have resolved to frame for the sovereign independent State of Pakistan a constitution".
Questions: Is sovereignty absolute or relative? Has ours been eroding over time because our weak National Identity/Purpose?
Article 4: National Purpose?
"WHEREIN the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam, should be fully observed",
Questions: Why couldn't we affirm these values into belief? Aren't we violating these in all spheres of life?
Articles 5 & 6: Total Equality vs. merely Adequate Provision for Minorities?
"WHEREIN the Muslims of Pakistan should be enabled individually and collectively to order their lives in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam, as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah",
"WHEREIN adequate provision should be made for the minorities freely to profess and practice their religion and develop their culture",
Questions: The word "freely" is written in three languages on Minar-e-Pakistan. Why was it omitted? What are the implications?
Article 7: Federal State?
"WHEREIN the territories now included in or in accession with Pakistan and such other territories as may hereafter be included in or accede to Pakistan should form a Federation, wherein the Provinces would be autonomous with such limitations on their powers and authority as might be prescribed",
Questions: Why couldn't we pass on the Concurrent List to the provinces till now? Why the parties in power forget their commitment to truly defend the constitution?
Article 8: Fundamental Rights?
"WHEREIN should be guaranteed fundamental rights, including rights such as equality of status and opportunity, equality before law, freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, association and social, economic, and political justice, subject to law and public morality",
Questions: Are we bad people that we continue to violate all these rights? How do we affirm these into belief?
Article 9: Independence of Judiciary?
"WHEREIN the independence of the judiciary should be fully secured",
Questions: Why are judges made to feel so insecure?
Article 10: Adequate Provision for Minorities?
"WHEREIN adequate provision should be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes",
Article 11: Absolute Integrity?
"WHEREIN the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights over land, sea and air should be safeguarded",
Questions: Without a common bonding and nationhood, can we protect our integrity? Wouldn't others manipulate a weak and a divided nation?
Article 12: Honourable place amongst the comity of nations?
"So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their rightful and honoured place amongst the nations of the world and make their full contribution towards international peace and the progress and happiness of humanity".
Article 13: Limited powers at the centre?
"This Session further authorises the Working Committee to frame a scheme of constitution in accordance with these basic principles, providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions, of all powers such as defence, external affairs, communications, systems, and such other matters as may be necessary".
Liaqat Ali's Address on the Objectives Resolution
Misquoted Quaid's August 11 1947 Address?
I would like to remind the House that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-I-Azam gave expression to his feelings on this matter on many an occasion, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms:
• Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam,
• Because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today.
It is universally recognized that the source of these evils is that:
• Humanity has not been able to keep pace with its material development,
• That the Frankenstein Monster which human genius has produced in the form of scientific inventions, now threatens to destroy not only the fabric of human society but its material environment as well, the very habitat in which it dwells.
Science with Values?
It is universally recognized that if man had not chosen to ignore the spiritual values of life and if his faith in God had not been weakened, this scientific development would not have endangered his very existence.
It is God-consciousness alone which can save humanity, which means that
• All power that humanity possesses must be used in accordance with ethical standards,
• Which have been laid down by inspired teachers known to us as the great Prophets of different religions.
All Authority is to be exercised as per Islamic Standards?
• We, as Pakistanis, are not ashamed of the fact that we are overwhelmingly Muslims and we believe that it is by adhering to our faith and ideals that we can make a genuine contribution to the welfare of the world.
• Therefore, Sir, you would notice that the Preamble of the Resolution deals with a frank and unequivocal recognition of the fact that all authority must be subservient to God.
• It is quite true that this is in direct contradiction to the Machiavellian ideas regarding a polity where spiritual and ethical values should play no part in the governance of the people and,
• Therefore, it is also perhaps a little out of fashion to remind ourselves of the fact that the State should be an instrument of beneficence and not of evil.
But we, the people of Pakistan, have the courage to believe firmly that:
• All authority should be exercised in accordance with the standards laid down by Islam so that it may not be misused.
• All authority is a sacred trust, entrusted to us by God for the purpose of being exercised in the service of man, so that it does not become an agency for tyranny or selfishness.
No Divine Right of Kings?
I would, however, point out that this is not a resuscitation of the dead theory of Divine Right of Kings or rulers because,
• In accordance with the spirit of Islam, the Preamble fully recognizes the truth that authority has been delegated to the people, and to none else, and that it is for the people to decide who will exercise that authority.
• For this reason it has been made clear in the Resolution that the State shall exercise all its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people.
This is the very essence of democracy, because the people have been recognized as the recipients of all authority and it is in them that the power to wield it has been vested.
No Danger of a Theocracy?
Sir, I just now said that the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy. It is true that in its literal sense, theocracy means the Government of God;
In this sense, however, it is patent that the entire universe is a theocracy. For is there any corner in the entire creation where his authority does not exist? But in the technical sense, theocracy has come to mean a Government by ordained priests, who wield authority as being specially appointed by those who claim to derive their rights from their sacerdotal position?
Common Purpose: D-FETS?
You would notice, Sir, that the Objectives Resolution lays emphasis on the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, and Further defines them by saying that these principles should be observed in the constitution as they have been enunciated by Islam.
It has been necessary to qualify these terms because they are generally used in a loose sense.
For instance, the Western Powers and Soviet Russia alike claim that their systems are based upon democracy, and yet it is common knowledge that their polities are inherently different.
Democracy with Freedom, Equality, Tolerance?
It has, therefore, been found necessary to define these terms further in order to give them a well-understood meaning. When we use the word democracy in the Islamic sense, it pervades all aspects of our life; it relates to our system of Government and to our society with equal validity, because one of the greatest contributions of Islam has been the idea of the equality of all men.
Islam recognizes no distinctions based upon race, colour or birth.
Even in the days of its decadence, Islamic society has been remarkably free from the prejudices which vitiated human relations in many other parts of the world. Similarly, we have a great record in tolerance, for under no system of Government, even in the Middle Ages, have the minorities received the same consideration and freedom as they did in Muslim countries.
When Christian dissentients and Muslims were being tortured and driven out of their homes, When they were being hunted as animals and burnt as criminals – even criminals have never been burnt in Islamic society – Islam provided a haven for all who were persecuted and who fled from tyranny. It is a well-known fact of history that, when anti-Semitism turned the Jews out of many a European country, it was the Ottoman Empire which gave them shelter.
The greatest proof of the tolerance of Muslim peoples lies in the fact that there is no Muslim country where strong minorities do not exist, and where they have not been able to preserve their religion and culture. Most of all, in this sub-continent of India, where the Muslims wielded unlimited authority, the rights of non-Muslims were cherished and protected. I may point out, Sir, that it was under Muslim patronage that many an indigenous language developed in India.
Tolerance, Social Justice?
My friends, from Bengal would remember that it was under the encouragement of Muslim rulers that the first translations of the Hindu scriptures were made from Sanskrit into Bengali.
It is this tolerance which is envisaged by Islam, wherein a minority does not live on sufferance, but is respected and given every opportunity to develop its own thought and culture, Islam envisages a society in which social justice means neither charity nor regimentation.
Islamic social justice is based upon fundamental laws and concepts which guarantee to man a life free from want and rich in freedom. It is for this reason that the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice have been further defined by giving to them a meaning which, in our view, is deeper and wider than the usual connotation of these words.
The next clause of the Resolution lays down that Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.
It is quite obvious that no non-Muslim should have any objection if the Muslims are enabled to order their lives in accordance with the dictates of their religion. You would also notice, Sir, that the State is not to play the part of a neutral observer. Wherein the Muslims may be merely free to profess and practice their religion, because such an attitude on the part of the State would be the very negation of the ideals which prompted the demand of Pakistan, and it is these ideals which should be the corner-stone of the State which we want to build.
The State will create such conditions as are conductive to the building up of a truly Islamic society, which means that the State will have to play a positive part in this effort. You would remember, Sir, that the Quaid-I-Azam and other leaders of the Muslim League always made unequivocal declarations that the Muslim demand for Pakistan was based upon the fact that the Muslims had a way of life and a code of conduct.
They also reiterated the fact that Islam is not merely a relationship between the individual and his God which should not, in any way, affect the working of the State. Indeed, Islam lays down specific directions for social behaviour, and seeks to guide society in its attitude towards the problems which confront it from day to day. Islam is not just a matter of private beliefs and conduct it expects its followers to build up a society for the purpose of good life - as the Greeks would have called it. with this difference, that Islamic "good-life" is essentially based upon spiritual values.
For the purpose of emphasizing these values and to give them validity, it will be necessary for the State to direct and guide the activities of the Muslims in such a manner as to bring about a new social order based upon the essential principles of Islam, including the principles of democracy, freedom, tolerance and social justice.
The State will seek to create an Islamic society free from dissensions, but this does not mean that it would curb the freedom of any section of the Muslims in the matter of their beliefs. No sect, whether the majority or a minority, will be permitted to dictate to the others and, in their own internal matters and sectional beliefs, all sects shall be given the fullest possible latitude and freedom. Actually we hope that the various sects will act in accordance with the desire of the Prophet who said that the differences of opinion amongst his followers are a blessing.
It is for us to make our differences a source of strength to Islam and Pakistan, not to exploit them for narrow interests which will weaken both Pakistan and Islam. Differences of opinion very often lead to cogent thinking and progress, but this happens only when they are not permitted to obscure our vision of the real goal, which is the service of Islam and the furtherance of its objects.
Non-Muslims not Enabled?
In our desire to build up an Islamic society we have not ignored the rights of the non-Muslims. Indeed, it would have been un-Islamic to do so, and we would have been guilty of transgressing the dictates of our religion if we had tried to impinge upon the freedom of the minorities.
• In no way will they be hindered from professing or protecting their religion or developing their cultures.
• I assure the minorities that we are fully conscious of the fact that if the minorities are able to make a contribution to the sum total of human knowledge and thought, it will redound (to have a particular consequence, usually something good or positive) to the credit of Pakistan and will enrich the life of the nation.
• Therefore, the minorities may look forward, not only to a period of the fullest freedom, but also to an understanding and appreciation on the part of the majority which has always been such a marked characteristic of Muslims throughout history.
National Purpose Gone Wrong?
It has become fashionable to guarantee certain fundamental rights, but I assure you that it is not our intention to give these rights with one hand and take them away with the other.
• I have said enough to show that we want to build up a truly liberal Government where the greatest amount of freedom will be given to all its members.
• Everyone will be equal before the law, but this does not mean that his personal law will not be protected.
• We believe in the equality of status and justice.
It is our firm belief and we have said this from many a platform that Pakistan does not stand for vested interests or the wealthy classes.
• It is our intention to build up an economy on the basic principles of Islam which seeks a better distribution of wealth and the removal of want.
• Poverty and backwardness - all that stands in the way of the achievement of his fullest stature by man - must be eradicated from Pakistan.
• At present our masses are poor and illiterate.
• We must raise their standards of life, and free them from the shackles of poverty and ignorance.
So far as political rights are concerned, everyone will have a voice in the determination of the policy pursued by the Government
• And in electing those who will run the State, so that they may do so in the interests of the people.
• We believe that no shackles can be put on thought and, therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the expression of his views.
• Nor do we intend to deprive anyone of his right of forming associations for all lawful and moral purposes.
• we want to base our polity upon freedom, progress and social justice.
• We want to do away with social distinctions,
• but we want to achieve this without causing suffering or putting fetters upon the human mind and lawful inclinations.
Sir, there are a large number of interests for which the minorities legitimately desire protection.
• This protection the Resolution seeks to provide.
• The backward and depressed classes are our special charge.
• We are fully conscious of the fact that they do not find themselves in their present plight for any fault of their own.
• It is also true that we are not responsible by any means for their present position.
But now that they are our citizens, it will be our special effort to bring them up to the level of other citizens,
• So that they may bear the responsibilities imposed by their being citizens of a free and progressive State,
• And share them with others who have been more fortunate than themselves.
• We know that so long as any sections amongst our people are backward, they will be a drag upon society
• And, therefore, for the purpose of building up our State we must necessarily took to the interests of these sections.
Sir, the Resolution envisages a federal form of government
• Because such is the dictate of geography.
• It would be idle to think of a unitary form of Government when the two parts of our country are separated by more than a thousand miles.
I, however, hope that the Constituent Assembly will make every effort to integrate the units closer and forge such ties as would make us a well-integrated nation.
• I have always advocated the suppression of provincial feelings, but I want to make it clear that I am not an advocate of dull uniformity.
• I believe that all the areas and units, which form Pakistan, should contribute to the richness of our national life.
• I do, however, want to make it clear that nothing should be permitted which, in any sense, tends to weaken national unity, and provision should be made for bringing about a closer relationship amongst the various sections of our population than exists today.
For this purpose the Constituent Assembly will have to think anew as to what will be the best method for the distribution of subjects between the Centre and the units, and how the units should be defined in our new setup.
Mr. Chattopadhya's Address on the Objectives Resolution March 12, 1949
Dr Omar Hayat Malik says that "we got Pakistan for establishing a Muslim State, and the Muslims suffered for it and therefore it was not desirable that anybody should speak against it". I quite agree with him. He said; "If we establish a Muslim State and even if we become reactionaries, who are you to say anything against it?"
A standpoint which I understand, but here there is some difficulty.
We also, on this side, fought for the independence of the country. We worked for the independence of the entire country.
When our erstwhile masters, if in the Pakistan State there would have been only Muslims, the question would have been different but there are some Non-Muslims also in Pakistan. When they wanted a division there was no talk of an exchange of population. If there was an exchange of population, there would have been an end of the matter, and Dr. Malik could establish his Pakistan in his own way and frame constitution accordingly.
Mr. Omar Hayat Malik:
I never said that Pakistan was denuded of non-Muslims. My friend on the opposite has misunderstood me.
I say the part in which Dr. Malik lives is denuded of non-Muslims. I did not say that Dr. Malik had said that Pakistan was denuded of non-Muslims. That is clear. But we belong to East Bengal. One-fourth of the population is still non-Muslim. Therefore, what constitution is to be framed, it is our duty; it is in our interest to look to.
I am 27th in decent from him. Therefore, East Bengal is my land. I claim that East Bengal and Eastern Pakistan belongs to me as well as to any Mussalman and it will be my duty to make Pakistan a great, prosperous and powerful State so that it may get a proper place in the comity of nations because I call myself a Pakistani. I wish that Pakistan must be a great State. That will be covetable to Muslims as well as to non-Muslims who are living in East Bengal.
And I have carefully, read made-to-order, nicely-worded statement of my esteemed friend, Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan. But after reading the Resolution carefully and reading the statement, even after hearing the speeches of my friends, both the Doctor's and others, I cannot change my opinion. I cannot persuade myself to accept this Resolution.
Article 1: Sovereignty
This part of the Resolution, I think, ought to be deleted. All powers, in my opinion, rest with the people and they exercise their power through the agency of the State. State is merely their spokesman. The Resolution makes the State the sole authority received from God Almighty through the instrumentality of people – Nemittamatrona, "Merely instruments of the State". People have no power or authority; they are merely post boxes according to this Resolution. The State will exercise authority within the limits prescribed by Him (God).
What are those limits, who will interpret the We request the readers to debate, comment and derive the guidelines for the values of:
National Purpose (Equality of all people, institutions, provinces, Liberty or Freedom and Fraternity or Brotherhood); Personal values (Integrity, Service before Self and Excellence in Whatever We Do); National Values (Pluralism, Federalism, Constitutionalism, Internationalism; Equal Rights of Minorities; Joint Electorates etc)? Additionally does it give us the basis for our Common National Identity and the basis for evolving our National Interests?
m? Dr. Qureshi or my respected Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Osmani? In case of difference, who will interpret? Surely they are not the people.
One day a Louis XIV may come and say "I am the State, anointed by the Almighty" thus paving the way for advent Divine Right of Kings of afresh. Instead of State being the voice of the people, it has been made an adjunct of religion. To me voice of people is the voice of God, "Jatra jiba tatra shiva." The people are the manifestation of God.
In my conception of State where people of different religion live:
There is no place for religion in the State. Its position must be neutral: no bias for any religion. If necessary, it should help all the religions equally. No question of concession or tolerance to any religion. It smacks of inferiority complex. The State must respect all religions: No smiling face for one and askance look to the other.
The state religion is a dangerous principle. Previous instances are sufficient to warn us not to repeat the blunder. We know people were burnt alive in the name of religion. Therefore, my conception is that the sovereignty must rest with the people and not with any body else.
Then about the Constituent Assembly representing the people of Pakistan:
This Constituent Assembly was created by a Statute – Indian Independence Act – allotting one member for ten lakhs of people to be elected by the members of the Provincial Assemblies.
The members were not elected by the people themselves. They are for the purpose of framing a constitution. They have the legal right to do so but they cannot say that they are the representatives of the people.
They are merely a Statutory Body.
Article 4: Common Purpose
"Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed". Of course, they are beautiful words: Democracy, freedom, equality, everything. Now about this portion I had some discussion with some Maulanas from the Punjab. What they told me must be from their religious books.
In this connection you say "equal rights", but at the same time with limitations as enunciated by Islam. Is there any equal right in an Islamic country? Was there any ….
An Honourable Member: "There was in Islamic countries." …….
It was not between Muslims and non-Muslims. We are now divided into Congress Party and Muslim League Party here for farming constitution and suppose after framing of this constitution we face election, and parties are formed on different alignment, there may not be Congress, there may not be Muslim League, because the Congress has fulfilled its mission of attaining independence and Muslim League has also got Pakistan.
There may be parties of haves and have-nots – and they are bound to be – and have-nots party may have a leader coming form non-Muslims. Will he be allowed to be the head of the administration of a Muslim State? It is not a fact that a non-Muslim cannot be head of the administration in a Muslim State. I discussed this question and I was told that he could not be allowed to be the head of the administration of a Muslim State.
As an instance, I cite a case and I think, the Honourable President also knows about it – in the District of Faridpur, Dudu Mea's party. They do not say Juma Namaz. His grandson, Pir Badshah Mia, told me that "in a country where the head is a non-Muslim, there cannot be Juma Namaz." Therefore, the words "equal rights as enunciated by Islam" are – I do not use any other word – a camouflage. It is only a hoax to us, the non-Muslims.
There cannot be equal rights as enunciated by Islam. If the State is formed without any mandate of the religion, anybody whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist who can get votes can become its head, as such there would be difficulty …..
Opinion: Jamat-i-Islam There would be difficulty it is not my book, it is not a Congress book, it is a Jamat-i-Islam publication from Lahore and it was handed over to me. I read a few lines from this book, Page 20:
• "The preceding statement makes it quite clear that Islam is not democracy; for democracy is the name given to that particular form of Government in which sovereignty ultimately rests with the people in which legislation depends both in its form and content on the force and direction of public opinion and laws are modified and altered, to correspond to changes in that opinion.
• If a particular legislation is desired by the mass of people steps have to be taken to place it on the Statute Book if the people dislike any law and demand its removal, it is forthwith expunged and ceases to have any validity.
• There is no such thing in Islam which, therefore, cannot be called democracy in this sense of the term". My friend, the Honourable Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the other day said 'What is in the name'? I also say, what is in the name? Name may be given to mislead people but it will smell theocracy.
Nishtar (West Punjab: Muslim): Do you know what treatment was meted out to this man by the Government? He is in jail.
Chattopadhya: That is a different matter. Further he goes on:
"A more apt name for it would be the Kingdom of God which is described in English as "theocracy". I do not know much of your theocracy or Sunnah. But he told me many things about Islam. And then you will also find this:
"No law can be changed unless the injunction is to be found in God's Shariah. Laws are changed by the consensus of opinion amongst the Muslims." So, if any law is to be changed, it is to be changed by the vote of the Muslims only. Where are we then? We are not Muslims.
Doesn't Trust Safeguards! There are, I find, many safeguards in the Resolution:
I do not attach much importance to them. Words are there but there is no law which will allow them to be put into practice. That is the limitation. If the non-Muslims cannot vote, then what is the good of our coming here for farming the constitution?
Even if we have the right to vote for a legislation but if some non-Muslim wants to be the President of the State, he will not be able to do so. If we want to elect somebody who is a non-Muslim, he cannot be elected by us to be a member of the legislature. We may vote, but we can vote for Mr Nishtar only and not for Mr Chandra Chattopadhya, who is a non-Muslim.
Tyranny of Majority! I know you can pass this Resolution because you are in the majority and I know the tyranny of the majority. But we cannot be a consenting party to it; we must oppose it in order to safeguard our interests and not to commit suicide by accepting this Resolution.
Is it equality of rights? Is it wrong if we say that the non-Muslims will be in the position of Plebeians (one of the ordinary citizens of ancient Rome as distinct from the patricians)? There may not be Patricians (somebody with the qualities and manners traditionally associated with the upper class) and plebeians in the Muslim community, but the question is between the Muslims and non-Muslims.
Minorities' Fear of the known/ Unknown?
Now, Dr Qureshi has attributed fear complex to the non-Muslims and has found a new dictum of behaviour for the minority. He has given a warning to the non-Muslims and has asked them to discard fear and behave well. What does our conduct show? We are not afraid of anybody.
• We, the Congress people, were not afraid of any or any power. We are still living in Eastern Pakistan and we are not running away. We are telling our brothers not to leave Eastern Pakistan and not to give up one inch of land.
• As for behaviour it depends upon the majority community by their behaviour to get the confidence of the minority people. The minority people cannot create by their conduct confidence in the majority. They majority people should behave in such a way that the minority people may not be afraid of them and may not suspect them.
Dr Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi: On a point of personal explanation, Sir, I never said or implied in my speech that my friends on the opposite side were suffering from the fear of the seen. Unfortunately, they have been suffering from the fear of the unknown and my point was that the Objectives Resolution does not embody any principle which might make them afraid. I know that my friends are very brave and they would certainly not run away and I also know .. …
The Religious Question?
Mr Sri Chandra Chattopadhya : It goes without saying that by introducing the religious question, the differences between the majority and the minority are being perpetuated, for how long, nobody knows. And, as apprehended by us, the difficulty of interpretation has already arisen.
• The accepted principle: That the majority, by their fair treatment, must create confidence in the minority. Whereas the Honourable Mover of the Resolution promises respect, in place of charity or sufferance for the minority community, the Deputy Minister Dr Qureshi, advises the minority to win the good-will of the majority by their behaviour.
• In the House of the Legislature also we find that, while the Prime Minister keeps perfectly to his dictum, others cannot brook (to put up with something) that the Opposition should function in the spirit of opposition. The demand is that the Opposition should remain submissive.
• That is Dr Qureshi's way of thinking: The minorities must be grateful for all the benevolence they get and must never complain for the malevolence that may also be dealt out to them that is his solution of the minority problem.
Dr Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi : Sir, I again rise on a point of personal explanation. I never said that. My words are being twisted. What I said was this that the best guarantee of a minority's rights is the good-will of the majority and those words cannot be twisted into the way my friend has been twisting them.
Chattopadhya : My esteemed friend, Mr Nishtar, speaks that there is difference of outlook between the two parties. It is true that before the division of India into two States, India and Pakistan, we opposed the division on the ground that the people of India consisted of one nation, and the Muslim League supported the division on two-nation theory, the Muslims and the non-Muslims. There was this fundamental difference in our outlook and in our angle of vision. India was divided without the division of the population. So, in both the States there are Muslims and non-Muslims – no exchange of population and even no exchange of population under contemplation.
One Nation vs. Two Nations vs. Common Purpose?
We, the non-Muslims of Pakistan, have decided to remain in Pakistan, as the loyal citizens of Pakistan. Of course, some non-Muslims from East Bengal and practically the majority of non-Muslim from West Pakistan left the place. We call ourselves the nationals of Pakistan and style ourselves as Pakistanis. But this Resolution cuts at the root of it and Mr Nishtar's speech makes it clear.
We, the Congress people still stick to our one nation theory and we believe that the people of Pakistan, Muslims and non-Muslims, consist of one nation and they are all Pakistanis.
The Religion and Equality Question?
Now, if it is said that the population of Pakistan consists of two nations the Muslims who form the majority party and the non-Muslims who form the minority party, how are they to be described? Nowhere in the world is nationality divided on the score of religion.
Even in Muslim countries there are people of different religions. They do not call themselves a majority or minority party. They call themselves as members of one nation, though professing different religions.
If the Muslims call themselves Pakistanis, will the non-Muslims call themselves non-Pakistanis? What will they call themselves?
Some Honourable Members: Pakistanis.
Chattopadhya: Will they both call themselves Pakistanis? Then how will the people know who is Muslim and who is non-Muslim? I say, give up this division of the people into Muslims and non-Muslims and let us call ourselves one nation. Let us call ourselves one people, people of Pakistan.
Otherwise, if you call me non-Muslim and call yourselves Muslim the difficulty will be if I call myself Pakistani they will say you are a Muslim. That happened when I had been to Europe. I went there as a delegate of Pakistan. When I said "I am a delegate of Pakistan" they thought I was a Muslim. They said "But you are a Muslim". I said, "No, I am a Hindu".
A Hindu cannot remain in Pakistan; that was their attitude. They said: "You cannot call yourself a Pakistani". Then I explained everything and told them that there are Hindus and as well as Muslims and that we are all Pakistanis. That is the position. Therefore, what am I to call myself? I want an answer to that.
I want a decision on this point from my esteemed friend, Mr Liaqat Ali Khan. I request my Honourable friend, Mr Nishtar, to forget this outlook, this angle of vision. Let us form ourselves as members of one nation. Let us eliminate the complexes of majority and minority. Let us treat citizens of Pakistan as members of one family and frame such a constitution as may not break this tie so that all communities may stand shoulder to shoulder on equal footing in time of need and danger.
I do not consider myself as a member of the minority community. I consider myself as one of seven crores of Pakistanis. Let me have to retain that privilege. I have stated about this Resolution.
Now what will be the result of this Resolution? I sadly remind myself of the great words of the Quaid-I-Azam that in state affairs the Hindu will cease to be a Hindu; the Muslim shall cease to be a Muslim. But alas, so soon after his demise what you do is that you virtually declare a State religion!
You are determined to create a Herrenvolk (in Nazi ideology, the German nation as a master race). It was perhaps bound to be so, when unlike the Quaid-I-Azam – with whom I was privileged to be associated for a great many years in the Indian National Congress. You felt your incapacity to separate politics from religion, which the modern world so universally does.
You could not get over the old world way of thinking. What I hear in this Resolution not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan – the Quaid-I-Azam (may his soul rest in peace), nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Honourable Mr Liaqat Ali Khan but of the Ulemas of the land.
When I came back to my part of the country after several months' absence in Europe, the thing that I saw there depressed me. A great change for the worse has come over the land. I noticed that change this side also. I told His Excellency Khawaja Nazimuddin of it. I told the Honourable Mr Liaqat Ali Khan about it and now that spirit of reaction has overwhelmed this House also.
This Resolution in its present form epitomizes that spirit of reaction. That spirit will not remain confined to the precincts of this House. (How prophetic)! It will send its waves to the countryside as well. I have been passing sleepless nights pondering what shall I now tell my people whom I have so long been advising to stick to the land of their birth?
They are passing a state of uncertainty which is better seen and left than imagined from this House. The officers have opted out, the influential people have left, the economic conditions are appalling, starvation is widespread, women are going naked, and people are sinking without trade, without occupation. The administration is ruthlessly reactionary a steam-roller has been set in motion against the culture, language and script of the people.
And on the top of this all, by this Resolution you condemn them to a perpetual state of inferiority. A thick curtain is drawn against all rays of hope, all prospects of an honourable life. After this what advice shall I tender? What heart can I have to persuade the people to maintain a stout heart?
But I feel it is useless bewailing before you, it is useless reasoning with you. You show yourselves incapable of humility that either victory or religion ought to generate. You then go your way, I have best wishes for you.
I am an old man not very far from my eternal rest. I am capable of forgetting all injuries. I bear you no ill will. I wish you saw reason. Even as it is, may no evil come your way. May you prosper, may the newly-born State of Pakistan be great and get its proper place in the comity of nations. (Applause.)
Note: Please participate in Online Survey about this Article.... Click here